The 30 academy grads given Liverpool debuts by Klopp & how they’ve fared

Jurgen Klopp has transformed Liverpool into one of the best teams in the world in his five years at Anfield – but he’s still managed to give opportunities to players from the academy.

Billy Koumetio is the latest talent to have caught Klopp’s eye, impressing in pre-season to raise hopes he could make his senior debut in 2020-21.

We’ve looked at the 30 academy graduates to have made their senior debut under Klopp so far at Liverpool to see how they’ve fared.

Connor Randall

Randall was handed his first-team debut early in Klopp’s reign, playing the full 90 minutes against Bournemouth in the EFL Cup in October 2015.

“It was a League Cup game. I was told I’d be playing against Bournemouth the night before and was just full of excitement,” Randall told us in January 2020.

“It was all about knowing that my dream was going to come true the next day. I remember scrambling around, trying to get as many tickets as I could for my family and friends.

“Standing in the tunnel, it felt surreal, especially when You’ll Never Walk Alone started playing. It’s a moment I will always remember.”

The midfielder made another seven appearances for the Reds before being released in 2019.

READ: Connor Randall talks Liverpool exit, Jurgen Klopp & life in Bulgaria

Ryan Kent

Kent made his debut against Exeter City in the FA Cup in January 2016, but that proved to be his only first-team appearance for Liverpool.

After loan spells at Barnsley, Freiburg, Bristol City and Rangers, he joined the latter on a permanent deal in 2019.

Sheyi Ojo

Ojo also made his senior debut against Exeter and scored his first goal for Liverpool against the same opponents in the replay victory.

The winger made another nine first-team appearances in 2015-16 but hasn’t played for the club since January 2017, spending the last three seasons out on loan.

Joe Maguire

Maguire’s Liverpool career amounted to 13 minutes in a cameo appearance against Exeter before the defender was sold to Fleetwood Town in January 2017.

Sergi Canos

Canos made only one first-team appearance, against West Brom in May 2016, and he left Liverpool a few weeks later.

“They didn’t offer me the opportunity to try and train and play for the first team,” Canos told The Guardian in 2018.

“I made my debut, but it wasn’t a good thing, I don’t think. It was a good thing because then they could sell me for £2.5million to Norwich.”

Ovie Ejaria

Ejaria joined Liverpool’s academy from Arsenal in 2014 and made his debut against Derby County in the EFL Cup in September 2016.

The 22-year-old made a further seven appearances in all competitions during the 2016-17 season but has spent the last three years out on loan.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold made his senior debut in an EFL Cup match against Tottenham in October 2016 and hasn’t looked back since.

The 21-year-old has developed into one of the best right-backs in the world, helping Liverpool win the Champions League and the Premier League in the space of 12 months.

READ: Where are they now? Alexander-Arnold last U23 team before Liverpool debut

Ben Woodburn

Woodburn made his senior debut at just 17 years of age, replacing Georginio Wijnaldum in the final stages of Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Sunderland in November 2016.

The striker then became their youngest ever goalscorer after coming off the bench to score against Leeds United in the EFL Cup just three days later.

Since then the 20-year-old has failed to kick on as many had hoped and spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Oxford United in League One.

Harry Wilson 

Wilson played 25 minutes in an FA Cup win over Plymouth in 2017, replacing Philippe Coutinho, but he’s still waiting on appearance number two.

After loan spells at Hull City, Derby County and Bournemouth, the Wales international may well leave the club permanently this summer.

Curtis Jones 

Considered one of the best of the current bunch, Jones made his first-team debut in an FA Cup third-round defeat to Wolves in January 2019.

The midfielder made 12 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20 and won the FA Cup Goal of the Season for his stunning strike against Everton.

Ki-Jana Hoever

Hoever also made his competitive debut against Wolves, replacing an injured Dejan Lovren after just six minutes.

The Dutch defender made three first-team appearances in total in 2019-20, scoring his first Liverpool goal in the EFL Cup victory over MK Dons.

Rafa Camacho

The third debutant at Molineux, Camacho started at right-back and played the entire 90 minutes.

He then made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace 12 days later before joining Sporting Lisbon on a permanent deal in June 2019.

Rhian Brewster

Brewster was tipped as the ‘next big thing’ at Anfield after helping England win the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, but a serious ankle injury derailed his progress.

The striker finally made his first-team debut in an EFL Cup match against MK Dons in September 2019 and then had a successful loan spell at Swansea City.

Herbie Kane

Kane replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against MK Dons and then played the full 90 minutes against Aston Villa in the same competition.

The midfielder spent the second half of the 2019-20 season on loan at Hull City, scoring two goals in nine appearances.

Caoimhin Kelleher 

Kelleher was an unused substitute for the 2019 Champions League final and kept a clean sheet in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over MK Dons.

The goalkeeper made another three appearances in cup competitions in 2019-20 but is yet to make his Premier League debut.

Neco Williams 

Williams marked his debut against Arsenal with a last-minute assist for Divock Origi’s dramatic equaliser in the EFL Cup.

The right-back made another 10 first-team appearances in 2019-20 to become just the fifth Welshman to earn a Premier League winners’ medal.

Morgan Boyes

Boyes made his debut in the EFL Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa in December 2019, but it didn’t go to plan.

The defender marked the occasion with an unfortunate own goal in a 5-0 defeat and hasn’t played for the senior team since.

Luis Longstaff

Longstaff joined Liverpool from Newcastle United in 2015, but he’s no relation to his namesakes at St James’ Park.

He made his senior debut against Villa before signing a new contract with the Reds in June 2020.

Thomas Hill 

Hill started in the defeat at Villa Park before returning to train with the club’s Under-23s.

Isaac Christie-Davies

Christie-Davies also made his senior bow against Villa, but that proved to be his only and only appearance for the club.

The 22-year-old was sent out on loan to Belgian side Cercle Brugge in January 2020 and was released at the end of the season.

Jack Bearne

Bearne came off the bench for the final 25 minutes against Villa with the game already lost.

Leighton Clarkson 

Clarkson replaced Christie-Davies for the final 13 minutes at Villa Park and made his first start for the club against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.

James Norris

An 82nd-minute sub in that Villa defeat, Norris didn’t get much of a chance to show what he can do.

Nathaniel Phillips

After being recalled from his loan spell at Stuttgart, Phillips started in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup third round in January 2020.

Eight days later, the 23-year-old was sent back on loan to Stuttgart.

Yasser Larouci

Larouci replaced an injured James Milner against Everton and made his first start for the club in a 2-2 draw against Shrewsbury Town.

Adam Lewis

One of many to make his debut against Shrewsbury in an FA Cup fourth-round replay, Lewis will spend the 2020-21 season on loan at Ligue 2 side Amiens.

Liam Millar

Millar spent the first half of the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Kilmarnock before returning to Anfield and starting in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury.

Jake Cain

After starring for Liverpool’s Under-23s in 2019, Cain played the full 90 minutes against Shrewsbury.

Joe Hardy

Hardy joined Liverpool’s Under-23s in January 2020 and made his competitive debut against Shrewsbury, replacing Miller in the 82nd minute.

Elijah Dixon-Bonner

Dixon-Bonner came on as a 90th-minute substitute against Shrewsbury and that didn’t tell us a great deal about the midfielder if we’re being honest.

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